Mary's Voice in the Gospel According to John
A New Translation with Commentary
John's gospel has always been recognized as different from the other three. What makes it different? According to tradition, Jesus on the cross entrusted his mother, Mary, to John. She was taken into his household, and they lived together for about thirty years, eventually moving to Ephesus together. During that time, John was preaching and finding ways to represent the life of Jesus to others. Would his conversations with Mary about Jesus have had any influence on him?
In this book, Michael Pakaluk, a philosopher and classical scholar at The Catholic University of America, explores the fresh and startling thesis that Mary's 'voice' can be heard throughout John's gospel, in the incidents that were chosen, in the way they were presented, and in the themes that become prominent. Drawing on the Christian feminism of Edith Stein, among others, he discerns in the gospel of John a presentation of the life of Christ richly shaped by Mary's point of view as virgin, mother, daughter of God, and spouse.
Pakaluk develops his argument through interpretive essays and notes, keyed to a beautiful and fresh translation, which will be appreciated and lauded as much as his translation of Mark's gospel in The Memoirs of St Peter.
Published: February, 2021
“It is a rare scholar who can make the most familiar ancient text feel like it was just discovered. . . . I felt like I was reading Saint John for the first time.”
—ARTHUR C. BROOKS, professor, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School
“Michael Pakaluk has put vast learning and formidable skills as a biblical translator and exegete in service of an urgent Christian task. . . .”
—SOHRAB AHMARI, author of the forthcoming The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos
“A blend of poetic sensibility, spirituality and scholarship that is a genuine surprise and inspiration.”
—FATHER DWIGHT LONGENECKER, parish priest and author of The Mystery of the Magi and Immortal Combat
“An interpretive triumph!”
—C. C. PECKNOLD, associate professor of systematic theology, the Catholic University of America
“Mary’s Voice in the Gospel according to John is boldly beautiful, deeply literate, and astonishingly fresh.”
—BRAD MINER, senior editor, The Catholic Thing
“By the book’s closing pages, it would be difficult indeed to imagine that Mary had not influenced John’s work.”
—ALEXANDRA DeSANCTIS, staff writer, National Review, and visiting fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
“This is a rare kind of scholarship, both enlightening and fascinating.”
—ROBERT ROYAL, president, Faith and Reason Institute